It’s no secret that video has become a cornerstone of today’s marketing landscape. Some might even argue that video is the cornerstone—the #millienialpink of modern marketing, if you will.
According to recent research from Buffer, 85 percent of businesses would like to create more video content in 2018. And if those businesses actually follow through, that means the demand for video will only continue to grow. If that last statement made you wince, cry uncontrollably, or even flip a table—don’t worry, we totally get it. You don't want your business or your career to fall behind because you don't know how to get started with video.
Right about now you're probably thinking, "How can I invest the time, energy, and budget needed to make a video when I'm already strapped for those resources to begin with?" As a marketer, the sheer thought of adding yet another item to your to-do list can be headache inducing.
In this post, we’re going to walk you through the challenges most marketers often face and how video can actually help you solve those problems, all while doing better marketing.
Marketers don't always have a big budget
You asked for an increase in your budget this year, and the answer was a resounding "no." Bummertown, USA. So, how are you going to invest more in video with limited cash? Despite common perception, a small investment in video can actually lead to some pretty impressive results. Plus, once you start seeing that ROI roll in, you'll be able to make the case for added investment when it comes time to negotiate next year.
Choosing the right type of video to create is super important when working on a small budget. If you can only invest in one highly produced video this year, make it count. From the marketing perspective, here's an example that highlights how one video could be used across your marketing efforts to impact your results, even on a shoestring budget.
Let's pretend your team created a guide that will serve as your flagship piece of content this quarter, complete with a produced video. Here's how you could repurpose and get the most out of your video to help reach your marketing goals:
- Include a video thumbnail in your team's email signatures to help promote the guide
- Share the video with your sales team so they can use it in their outreach efforts
- Break the video down into several smaller, more digestible videos for new blog posts
- Create a vertical version of the video for Instagram Stories
- Create a version that's less than 10 seconds long for Twitter or LinkedIn
- Use the video in a Facebook or Instagram campaign
- Share the video in your community and use it to spark discussion
- Feature a video thumbnail in your email send to increase click through rates
Obviously these tactics will vary depending on the type of video you create, but hopefully you can see how easy it is to make that one video work really hard for you and your team. Now, from the production perspective, if you're interested in making your videos in-house, there are a few budget-friendly ways you can get started. Let's break it down!
Creating videos on a small budget
If you’re trying to make a feature-length film, then video production costs can start to climb pretty fast. But if you’re like us, and you're interested in creating smaller, snackable videos (we love snacks) on a budget, consider these low-cost, high quality investments:
Use the camera you already have—your iPhone
Apple has come a long way since introducing video recording features with the iPhone 3Gs. The newest iPhones can shoot stunning 4K footage (seriously, we’re not kidding). What’s more, if you pair your iPhone with a good old-fashioned tripod and an external microphone—the same phone you use to Google the heck out of #beychella—you can capture some really impressive shots. Still skeptical? Check out our guide to shooting video with an iPhone and learn how to produce professional-looking video like a boss.
Build your own lighting kit for under $100
Good lighting is the difference between poor, meh, and high quality video production. But “good” doesn’t necessarily mean complicated or expensive. At Wistia, we've adopted a minimalist and flexible philosophy for lighting videos that any business can get started with today. Pair that with our down and dirty DIY lighting kit (shout out to Home Depot), and you'll be well on your way to making beautiful videos without breaking the bank.
Marketers are short on time
Remember Becky? Becky left your company a few months ago to explore a new opportunity, and ever since then, you've been picking up the work she left behind. You've absorbed her responsibilities for the "short term," but there's no end-date in sight. Sound familiar? For many marketers at small businesses, taking on additional work and wearing multiple hats is just part of the job. So naturally, adding video into your marketing strategy seems damn near impossible from a time perspective. But that doesn't have to be the case!
Marketers often assume that creating video always means a long, arduous, drawn-out production process full of takes, retakes, and many hours in an editing room. And while that may be true for the Spielberg's and Scorsese’s of the world, nowadays, viewers are craving that short-and-sweet, casual video content more than ever before. With channels like Facebook Live and Instagram Stories growing more popular by the day, not only is the dreaded video production “process” substantially reduced, but businesses are well-positioned to give the people what they want by keeping things more organic!
If you want to use video in your marketing efforts but are short on time, here are a few areas where less produced videos can work wonders:
- Video replies to questions your audience asks on Twitter
- Interviews with experts in your company or field on Facebook Live
- Blog post recaps or educational videos in response to questions posted on Quora
- Special announcement videos recorded with just a webcam
- Product update videos from your head of product shared on your blog
- Weekly video series about relevant topics in your industry
- Videos embedded in blog posts that explain complex or highly visual topics
- High-level blog post overview video for social media
Here's an example of a video we made with just a webcam that gave an overview of a recent blog post. We got 3,700 views on this video, and it only took 3 minutes to make!
Believe it or not, these videos that require very little production time (we're talking minimal setups and very little editing) can end up being even more human and effective at engaging with your audience than something that took you three times as long to make. Sounds pretty tempting, right? Here are a few additional resources to set you down the right path.
Tips for making your videos look great, fast
According to Go-Globe, streaming video accounts for over two-thirds of all internet traffic and is expected to jump to 82% by 2020. Holy moly! What does it all mean? Well, future producers, it’s simple: if you have a webcam, a Facebook account, and/or an Instagram handle, it’s time for you and your business to start making videos. Here are some tips for getting it right:
Webcams are your best friend
Maybe you’re a little camera shy...and that’s fair. Webcams, by default, aren’t the most flattering. But with a few quick tricks, you can significantly improve the look and feel of your video. For one, try adjusting your framing. Position yourself at about an arm's length away from the screen. Next, be sure to always face a light source of some sort. If you have an obvious light source near you (like a window), always keep it in front of you, not behind you.
Also, be sure to clean up your space. Offices can get messy, and you don't want to distract your audience with clutter in the frame. Last but not least, be mindful of your audio. Try your best to distance yourself from any background noise. If you truly can't escape your very loud coworkers, then plug in some headphones with a built-in microphone and do some test runs to see if the audio will work.
Use a tool like Soapbox to kick things up
If you’re still feeling pretty stuck, this one's for you! We recently launched Soapbox, a free Chrome extension that enables anyone to record, edit, and share high-quality videos in a matter of minutes. Soapbox eliminates all the technical barriers to making, editing, and sharing videos, so essentially, it’s a little video genie. If you're looking to go beyond basic recordings, you can use Soapbox to record both your screen and your webcam simultaneously. Easily present information or add enticing visuals to video with a few clicks. For more examples of how people are saving time with Soapbox, head over to the library and get inspired!
Marketers don't know what to make
As a marketer, you might be the go-to person on your team when it comes to determining the "what" behind a campaign. And for good reason! It's likely that you have a good sense of what will resonate with your audience from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective. However, it can start to feel like there are a finite number of topics one can possibly post or tweet about. That same pain is often felt when it comes to video.
Not knowing what types of videos to create can hold people back from actually getting started with video at all. Oftentimes people think they have to begin entirely anew, reinventing the wheel, or coming up with the most novel video concept ever—and that just simply isn't true. In fact, the best way to begin experimenting with video is to start by cataloguing the assets your business already has. What kind of content do you currently create? What content could you build upon, enhance, or repurpose with video?
Here are a few fool-proof ways to generate ideas for videos:
- Do a data-dive and find out which blog posts currently get the most love. These could be great jumping off points for video, as they could inspire bigger ideas for a campaign or video series.
- Look for holes in your current online presence. Are you sharing videos on Facebook but not on LinkedIn at all? Thinking about the platform first could help you come up with idea for video content with the audience in mind.
- Ask your sales team what prospects want to know more about. You might learn that folks want to see some examples of businesses succeeding with your product before they purchase, which means customer testimonial videos could be in order.
- Look at what your competitors are doing. Are your competitors meeting the needs of your audience in a way that you aren't? Think about how you are uniquely positioned to serve your audience in a more helpful way than your competitors, and execute with video.
- Do some keyword research on Google or YouTube. Begin searching for keywords and see what comes up for popular search terms. This can give you an idea for the demand for a particular topic, and could inspire some new video content.
Last but not least, video can help you easily determine what topics resonate with your audience, which could benefit your overall marketing strategy. You might find that you're getting a ton of engagement on a video about a specific topic, and very little on one that you thought your audience really cared about. Sharing these insights with the rest of your marketing team will help you all make smarter decisions about what to create and share with your audience.
You're on the path to success
The virtues of video are endless. Don’t let common marketing challenges hold you back—instead, let video help you combat those issues. The best way to determine whether a new tactic is worth the investment is to simply get started, and luckily when it comes to video, you can do so with limited time and resources.
With these ideas, tips, and tricks in mind, you should feel ready to start leveraging video in your marketing efforts. Become a better marketer and do better marketing for your business in the process with the help of your five-lettered friend, video.